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Belief in God Testimonies Trials and temptations

My drug addiction story

How I got addicted

About 15 years ago I started to develop leg pains. I sought medical help and after much investigation the doctors could not diagnose the cause. In the early years with this developing pain I started taking the over-the-counter paracetamol as a reasonably effective pain-killer but I became tolerant of the paracetamol and the pain developed to the point I needed to find something else for relief. Doctors suggested various drugs and even acupuncture without success.

Chemical structure of codeine.  Credit: Wikipedia

About 6 years ago my doctor started me on prescription pain-killers, where each tablet contains 500 mg paracetamol with 30 mg of codeine. Codeine is an opiate, a morphine derivative; it, in fact, is converted to morphine by the liver. Codeine is a drug of dependency, but no doctor told me about the downside of taking this medication long-term. More on that later.

Initially I’d only take one or two tablets per day and it was reasonably effective. Also I took up walking a lot as that seemed to alleviate that pain, while I was walking at least. But as time passed the effectiveness of the codeine reduced and I increased the number of pills per day. By 2014 I was taking 4 per day and by 2016 it was 6 per day and even some times 8 pills.

Chemical structure of morphine. Credit: Wikipedia

In 2013 a new doctor diagnosed the cause of the pain as peripheral neuropathy resulting from untreated coeliac disease, which I have apparently had my whole life but only started to manifest symptoms about 15 years ago. About 6 years ago I was formally diagnosed with coeliac disease and have been on a gluten-free diet ever since. But the damage to my nerve fibres was done and I was told I could only mask the symptoms with strong pain-killers.

For the most part I was able to manage with the daily pain and some relief using the codeine pills. However in the last 4 years there were times where I started to develop unexplained symptoms like headaches, digestive problems (even though on a strict gluten-free diet) and a very unwell feeling, but they would come and go.

Pain goes to my head

Then on my last trip to Japan in March/April 2017 I started to feel ill almost daily, and by early April headaches started to develop. I developed not only what you would call tension headaches but something like ‘brain fog’, which was very disconcerting.  I noticed myself taking the codeine pills just to try to relieve those bad headaches. The headaches developed into migraines and it became difficult to do my job there, working at a national research facility AIST in Tsukuba.

Categories
Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

Is the name ‘Yeshua’ written over a hundred times in the OT?

An article was sent to me, by a friend, where the author claims that Jesus’s name in Hebrew — Yeshua — is written over a hundred times in the OT. I have reproduced the article entirely below (blue indented text) with some comments following.


YESHUA IN THE TANAKH

(The Name of JESUS in the Old Testament)

Arthur E. Glass

In dealing with my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States, Argentina and Uruguay. I had one great difficulty, and it was this: My Jewish people would always fling at me this challenging question, “If Jesus is our Messiah, and the whole Old Testament is about Him, how come His name is never mentioned in It even once?

   I could never answer it satisfactorily to their way of thinking, and I admit I often wondered why His name was not actually written in the Old Bible.  Oh, yes, I could show them His divine titles  in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 and Jeremiah 23:5,6, and even the word MESSIAH in several places; but the Hebrew name that would be equal to Jesus, that I could not show.  Then one day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and I just shouted.  There was the very NAME, Jesus, found in the Old Testament about 100 times all the way from GENESIS to HABAKKUK!  Yes, the very word – the very NAME – that the angel Gabriel used in Luke 1:31 when he told Mary about the Son she was to have.  “Where do we find that NAME?” you ask.  Here it is, friend: Every time the Old Testament uses the word SALVATION (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my,” thy,” or “his”), with very few exceptions (when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, YESHUA (Jesus), used in Matthew 1:21. Let us remember that the angel who spoke to Mary and the angel who spoke to Joseph in his dream did not speak in English, Latin, or Greek, but in Hebrew; and neither were Mary or Joseph slow to grasp the meaning and significance of the NAME of this divine Son and its relation to His character and His work of salvation.  For in the Old Testament all great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning.

Categories
Aliens Chemistry Creation/evolution

Silicon based bugs

Scientists discover the first silicon-based life forms … in their imagination!

by John G. Hartnett and

artists-impression
Figure 1: An imaginative artist rendering of organosilicon-based life. Credit: Lei Chen and Yan Liang (BeautyOfScience.com) for Caltech.

Recent research from the laboratory of Frances Arnold shows, for the first time, that bacteria can be made to create organosilicon compounds.1 Of course, this does not prove that silicon- or organosilicon-based life is possible, but according to Space.com contributor Charles Q. Choi it “shows that life could be persuaded to incorporate silicon into its basic components”.

Carbon is the backbone of the most important biological molecules, including DNA, RNA, proteins, fats, sugars, hormones, etc. Even calcium-rich bones are formed on a carbon-based protein scaffold. Life on Earth is based exclusively on carbon. The chemistry of carbon permits it to form the long-chain molecules, which serve as the basis for life.

It is common for the evolutionists to argue it was only a coincidence that life is based on carbon because of the abundance of carbon in our environment. As a side note, we would be tempted to wager that life based on any other element in the periodic table will not be found in our lifetimes. We could make that forever, but it would be hard to pay up or collect the winnings long after we are dead.

Evolutionary scientists have speculated that a different form of life could have spontaneously appeared on other space bodies—on Titan for example.2 Because it seems that Titan has lakes of liquid hydrocarbons, not water, and possibly complex molecules could collect on the bottom of those lakes, which could, with a spark from some cosmic rays, create the equivalent of life’s chemistry on Earth. Of course, this runs afoul of all the known laws of chemistry, probability, and information theory, and it is a further stretch to believe the supposed Titanian life might be based on silicon instead of carbon.

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Synopsis: A biblical creationist cosmogony (Japanese translation)

The starlight-travel-time problem has been a difficult issue for biblical creationists for a long time. Big Bang cosmologists also have their own starlight-travel-time problem but creationists have proposed various solutions to this problem in the past decade or more. Recently I proposed an expansion on a solution, first proposed by Jason Lisle, in an article entitled “A biblical creationist cosmogony.” It is somewhat technical so I thought I’d write a very short layman summary here.

星の光が届く時間の問題は、聖書的創造論者にとって長い間難題でした。ビッグバン宇宙論者にとってもやはり星の光が届く時間は難題となっています。しかし創造論者は、過去数十年にわたって、この難題に対する答をいく通りか提案してきました。近年私が提案しているのは、最初にジェーソン・ライルが提案した論文「聖書的創造論者の宇宙論」を発展させたものです。これは多少専門的なので、一般向けにこれを説明しようと考えました。

Hubble Deep Field: Extremely distant galaxies on the edge of the visible universe. Credit: NASA/Hubble

ハッブル深部:観測可能な宇宙の端にある。非常に遠い銀河。提供・NASA

創造主が、創世記1章に記されている順序通りにご自身がすべてを創造したなら、そこに記されているすべての出来事は、その示す通りに約6000年前に24時間を1日とする連続した6日間で起こったはずです。ライルは、これらの出来事(星の創造)は光が最初に地球に到達した時点、あるいは、仮に地上に観測者がいた場合にその観測者が光を最初に目にした時点で起こったと提案しました。その要点は、星や銀河の創造で、ある光は100億光年以上もの距離から到達したというものです。もし私たちが観測者の視点(どう見えるか)のみを考慮するなら、これらの銀河やすべての星の光が最初に届いたのは、創造の第4日のどこかの時点です。

もし、光の速度は一定(c)であるという視点からこれを見れば、光は1年で1光年の距離を進むので、遠い星の光は100億年以上もかけて地球に到達したということになります。したがって、この視点から宇宙を考えるなら、すべての銀河は創造主が創造の第1日に地球を創造するはるか前に造られたということになります。しかし、これも単に観測者の視点(どう見えるか)の問題なのです。「光の速度は一定(c)である」という仮定は、(始点と終点にある)複数の時計の時刻が一致していることを想定しています。私たちは同様に、これとは別の想定、すべての出来事は観測者が目撃した時点で起こったとする想定を選ぶことができるのです。そうすると、「新しく」造られた星々や銀河の光が、創造の第4日に地球に到達したのです。それは、本当にこれらの銀河が造られた時に発せられた最初の光です。

Categories
astronomy Cosmology Creation/evolution hermeneutics Physics

Lecture: A biblical creationist cosmogony in Japan

An illustrated lecture I presented on March 19th, 2017, at Saidaiji Christian Church in Okayama, Japan. It was translated into Japanese by Mr Toru Yasui. The lecture covers the issue of the need to assume a worldview before we can interpret any observational data from the cosmos. Two worldviews are contrasted: The biblical creation worldview and the pagan big bang worldview. Biblical creation cosmogonies are explained and how they provide an answer to how we see distant starlight, from galaxies billions of light-years distant, in a 6000 year old universe. Running time 1 hour 14 minutes.

Recommended Reading

Categories
astronomy Cosmology hermeneutics Physics

More on our eternal universe

Journal of Creation Volume 31 Issue 1 2017

In Our eternal universe I laid out the biblical and scientific case for an eternal created universe sustained by the Creator.  That article was published in the Journal of Creation 30(3):104–109, December 2016, which has a wider readership than here, my personal web/blog site. And it attracted some comments via Letters to the Editor.

The ‘standard’ biblical creationist view has been that at the New Heaven and New Earth stage at some point in the future God wipes out the whole starry heavens and recreates a new universe of stars and galaxies. I am convinced the Creator will renovate the earth and its atmospheric heavens in that event but what do the scriptures really tell us?

Below I reproduce the letters arguing against my hypothesis and my responses.

Letter I

J. Creation 31(1) page 41 and page 42

Letter II

J. Creation 31(1) page 43 and page 44

After you have read both sides of the debate I welcome your comments below.

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